HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
Near Steep Bottom Church, January 17, 1865 - 9. 15 a. m.
General L. McLAWS,
Commanding, near Salkehatchie Station:
GENERAL: There were captured day before yesterday, near Station Numbers 6, three Yankee prisoners who belong to the Eighteenth Missouri Regiment, Sheldon's brigade, Mower's [division], Seventeenth Corps. They state that the Seventeenth Corps was near Station Numbers 6, and that the Fifteenth, commanded, by Sweeny [Logan], is at Beaufort. They say there is no cavalry with them; that they heard their cavalry had crossed the Savannah River about the 1st of this month, about three miles above Savannah. They drew ten days'rations (in haversacks) on the 10th, and marched from Beaufort on 13th. They do not know the amount of artillery or number of wagons with them, but say their wagon train is small; say the talk in camp is that Charleston is their destination. There are four regiments in his brigade, numbering in all about 2,000 men who carry guns, and that their brigade is the largest in the division. They received some recruits at Savannah and some at Beaufort. They say the Fourth [Fourteenth] and Twentieth Corps were to march from Savannah to Charleston by the line of the railroad. A scouting party of about fifty men came up a short distance this side of Gillisonville yesterday, and was driven back toward Grahamville.
I inclose a report of General Dibrell relative to the capture of a wagon. *
Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
N. B. - The Savannah is so high than our batteries had to be withdrawn at Mathews' Bluff. The works are covered with water.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH GEORGIA CAVALRY,
January 17, 1865.
Captain R. F. LAWTON,
CAPTAIN: Your communication of the 10th instant received. I have done as directed in regard to the disposition of the forces under my command. In regard to the troops in the country, there are none but Hood's battalion that are on duty, and I understand that there is but sixty left of them and they badly demoralized. They picket at Fort Barrington, below Doctor Town, and at Beard's Bluff above, on the Altamaha. They have a fragment of a company at Waynesville. Captain Cosby, commanding a detachment engaged in hunting deserters, is now reporting to me with about thirty men. These are all the Confederate troops of whom I have any knowledge in this section of country, except fifteen men belonging to a Mississippi battalion of General Ferguson's regiment [brigade]. Scouts report no enemy this side of the Ogeechee River.
I am, captain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN L. HARRIS,
* See January 16, p. 1018.